Thursday, April 27, 2006

Personal pet peeve: the idea that Columbus had this brilliant epiphany that the world just might be round. (Linked to that because the April 26 question mentioned that belief.)

When I was a kid I had some kind of National Geographic guide to the solar system. Interspersed with all artists' conceptions of life on Jupiter and the constellations fleshed out into the mythical characters on which they're based, there was quite a bit of science fact and history too. One of which was the revelation that not only did people have the shape of the world figured out by around 300 BC, but an Alexandrine librarian had made a good estimate of the size.

Yet as far as I can tell, nobody knows this simple and established fact. (And if you think about it, it's almost common sense: convincing a monarch that the size of the Earth is overestimated is one thing, but who would sponsor a guy crazy enough to say the world is a completely different shape?) Of course, the fact that people don't talk about this is mostly if not entirely because it's not as interesting a story as "Columbus showed them all the world was round!" For all I know the fact is central to classes on the history of mathematics, the Hellenistic era of Greece and other subjects I never formally studied, and it's not the default belief only because it's not as easy to use as an expression.

I don't even know why this annoys me. My pedantic side showing through, I guess.

Monday, April 24, 2006

A comment made only half-jokingly that I keep on hearing around the office is that every business in Middlebury is either a lawyer's office - I can't speak to that myself, but it's impossible to notice the second - or a restaurant. Well, in a discussion about a certain Chinese restaurant (one of two, and possibly three if someone's plans bear fruit), one of the Johns in the office pointed out this article. One specific part of it jumped out at me, and made me laugh.
The restaurant remained open until about 2 a.m. with no major problems. Next week will see some changes, such as the elimination of glass bottles, an additional bouncer and perhaps a wider offering of drinks at slightly steeper prices. There may also be a student DJ. The goal, however, stresses Davy, is not to make money on a Wednesday night or to turn May Garden into a bar. His main objective is to promote his restaurant and draw a bigger crowd from the College for the food side of the business. His hope is that Middlebury students will come in on a Wednesday night, have a good time and then return to the restaurant for meals and take-out.

If you think about it, if the first statement were true, they wouldn't need to make the plans mentioned in the second one, would they...

At first, my parents and some other people were even more excited about me getting this job than I was. There could be other reasons for this too, but being outright exuberant is just rarely in my nature. But I think seeing my stories get picked up by other news outlets feels as good as if not better than getting the job in the first place. I've gone to three or four meetings of the Bristol selectboard now, and one of the selectmen has been unofficially encouraging others to stop signing tobacco licenses, which would effectively ban the sale of cigarettes and stuff in Bristol. I wrote an article about it a couple weeks ago... and since then, the CBS affiliate and the Rutland Herald have also covered it, and an editorial in another paper referred to it in passing.

Never mind what I think of the issue itself; we're bragging here! :)

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Whew. I don't know if it's all office jobs, all newspaper jobs, or my own inexperience and other circumstances, but this job sure can be a lot of work. Driving all over the county to talk to people for stories, almost missing one meeting because the guy before it talked (rambled? ranted?) for almost an hour more than I planned, finding out when I call the office between one stop and the next that my editor expects a story tomorrow I thought I could put on the back burner, being informed when I get back to the office that I should go to a dinner event tonight... (it was fun, by the way, but the food wasn't that great.)

I'm going to put off more substantive posting yet again, as well as some self-improvement type tasks I wanted to do. First I'm going to play some games to unwind and stuff and then I'm going to do some work - probably just a little, but I really need to do some - before bed before work tomorrow. With a little luck (a lot of luck, a level of discipline that's slightly uncharacteristic but not outside the realm of possibility, and fair amount of coffee) tomorrow afternoon will be relaxing and/or free time... can't wait.
It's been a while since I've posted. No particular reason; I just haven't thought of and/or got around to it. Sort of regret it too, since there were things I wanted to write about. Oh well.

Things today are largely overall the same as the last time I posted: the paper is keeping me busy, I still need to learn some things about working there but overall I'm doing fine, the latest fun challenge in World of Warcraft (or beating my head against the wall depending on how you look at it) is getting the looong tier 1.5 upgrade quest chain...

Crap. Deep thoughts and an upgrade on my personal life will have to wait; I was writing this while reading something else and I just noticed that I have to go to work. (Going in late because I'm meeting with someone in Bristol to talk about a story, but it's 8:40 now and it's about 20 minutes to Bristol.) Figures. And there was something else I wanted to do during my unusual amount of free time this morning... Well, letthatbealessondontprocrastinate.